Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Leopard Moon - Jeanette Battista (Moon #1)

Another try for ARR. This time I had a chance to review the Leopard Moon. 

*4 stars * It took me two days to finish. It was compelling and fun, but at times a bit too dragging. A little too much time was spent on various descriptions or just characters wandering and thinking aloud.

From the first chapter on the book looked really promising. The author took time to introduce the characters. It really helped me to get into the story. We are introduced Kess, a were-leopard, who for the past year and half has been running from her family. Or more specifically, her brother. Sek was a wonderful villain. He was so obsessed with his ideas, he ceased to believe in everything else. It was almost sad. There really was no chance for him. For some reason I enjoyed seeing him combine his almost child-like belief and calculating clan-leader moves.

I've read plenty of other shapeshifter stories, but I've never run across were-leopards or were-bears for example.The tension between species and were wars were a refreshing change for a werewolf VS a vampire.

The wolves were sweet. Even though each and every one of them seemed to be huge and hot and perfect. They were so carefree, fooling around and keeping together. Like a wolf-pack. Almost the exact opposite to Kess's feline family. I really like that the author decided to play on the polar differences and preferences of cats and "dogs".

I was so glad, that for once there was no love triangle. I've almost tarted to think, that a good romance needs a condemned third wheel. The romance was clean and simple. Both had tried dating, but hadn't clicked well with anyone yet. It wasn't a marriage at first sight. It seemed natural, not forced. Finn with his inability to stay away from females and his special restrictions in the Barn made it hilarious. Big hugs to Finn. He's such a sweetheart.

The telling point was also done well. It shifted between different characters, yet always staying in third-persons view. I've recently run across only first-person stories. This book made me discover, I actually prefer that type of narrative. First person view might help you to better identify with the heroine, but the third person made the whole story flow more easily.I'm tired of endless inner monologues on theme "should I leave or should I stay?" 

Monday, 28 May 2012

Monday Morning Wishes #1

Mondays are the days I let you all know about a book I just can't wait to get my hands on! For the first of such Monday I chose a book, I'm dying to read. When the publishing date was moved forward I all but fell on my knees, yelling, "Whyyyy, Oh Whyy!?" Of course it's Onyx, from the Lux series by August 14th

"You okay with all of this?" I whispered to Daemon.
He shrugged. "Not like I can stop her."
I knew he could if he wanted, which meant he didn't have a problem with it.
"Cookie?" he offered, holding a cookie full of chocolate chips.
Upset tummy or not, there was no way I could refuse that. "Sure."
His lips tipped up one side and he leaned toward me, his mouth inches from mine. "Come and get it."
Come and get...? Daemon placed half the cookie between those full, totally kissable lips.
Oh, holy alien babies everywhere...

Friday, 25 May 2012

Believe - E. Leighanne Grimm-Weever (New England Immortals #1)

Hooray! My very first try at ARR (Author-Requesting-Review) Program - a chance to receive a copy of a new book in exchange of an honest review. I'm really excited and thankful for the opportunity! Also, a huge thank you for the author E. for providing me with a copy!

*3 stars* (Grading the book was really difficult. The quality of the books VS how much I enjoyed it = 2/4. So I decided to compromise.)

Before I even start I have to get one stone off my chest. I don't like the cover. I'm sorry, but I don't. There are so many ways of editing a picture and this is not one of them. What's with the wings? Without them and the not-so-well-done editing it already would've been a lot better. A serious error also lies with the title. It's almost unnoticeable and unreadable. I imagine the most important part of the cover should also be one of the first things to notice. But enough of this. On with the review.

The first thing I noticed while reading was the writing style. I'd advise to at least have the book read couple of times before publishing. The faulty grammar, messy sentences and frequent spelling mistakes made it really hard to follow.

Waiting for the book to get better, is kind of dangerous. It always needs extra effort, trying to read something you're not instantly attracted to. In this case, the patience paid off. The first 2 chapters scared me pretty bad. As often with new authors, the start was rather rocky. Overuse of metaphors and adjectives made the sentences stiff and unnatural. Sentences, like I chuckled to myself, because I like to laugh, so I chuckled at the thought of laughing. It's a big NoNo. One Doesn't chuckle at themselves! I feel the book would do so much better, if it had gone through editing.

Andreas stuttering throughout half of the book over Uncle Gregs horror stories and paranoia quickly grew tiring and distracting.  Half-finished sentences and repeating words is not a way to let the readers know when the character is constantly thinking of something.

The beginning is pretty cliche, the mysterious stranger who has been haunting your dreams for awhile, suddenly pops up, showing uncomfortably strong interest in your character and saves the day. However, I loved Andreas reaction to it all. "Why in the world did he do that? I’m not completely helpless," gotcha. Finally a girl, who doesn't find stalking strangers attractive.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Wednesday Night Dessert #1

You Favourite Type of YA Hero?

Lately I've ran across this question a lot. So what is my perfect hero like?
First, I'd start with good boys VS bad boys. For some reason I'm all the way for bad boys. Good guys are just... good? I'm a type of person who needs constant changes in my everyday life and action. Nothing major, but I can't sit still as well. I also can't stand guys staring lovingly at the girl for a whole day, only sighing from time to time. A guy, who tells you what he wants is so much easier. (Of course they need their own spunky heroine, who puts them back at their place, hah!) The banter is half-the fun for me. 
For example, let's think of Daemon, from the Lux series. Hmmm... How would you feel when he pulled you from your braid, all the way smiling sexily? Yeah. Me too.

And then there are these good guys, who send you flowers and blush when you look them in the eye. I just managed to make myself shiver. There's always one adorable girl sitting under a tree during the lunch break, whose as tender and full of blushes. But it's not me. A strong modern girl needs someone strong enough to lean on. My personal quirk is the silent brooding types. Think of Professor Snape from the Harry Potter series, remove 20 something years and set him into your world. Full of hidden passion, powerful and strong. And when finally he meets the girl strong enough to crack his shell, there's explosion loud enough to turn every head in the hallway. 
*fanning herself* Well, yes. That's what I think anyway.

When we look at the covers of some of the most successful YA romance novels, the guys are indeed swoon-worthy. "True beauty is hidden inside," doesn't sound very convincing when you have a hottie staring  from every cover. The sad reality is, that the outer appearance matters. However, I don't mean it the strict sense. Let me remind you that I'm the one finding Professor Snape with his way too thin built and greasy hair attractive, okay? I mean the aura surrounding him. The eyes are the mirror of the soul. And a looks can burn. Another thing under the appearance, is the self-confidence. If you believe in yourself you subconsciously hold your back straighter and your jaw high, that all together builds that mysterious aura. 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Reason to Breathe - Rebecca Donovan (The Breathing #1)

*3.5 stars*

Before I start I think a brief warning is in order. I write my reviews almost simultaneously while reading. The following review is long and consists of a lot on contradicting sentences and incoherent thougths I experienced while reading this piece of writing. Also might contain mild spoilers!

I decided to pick up The Reason to Breathe to have a rest from all the fairies, vampires and unfairly hot aliens and bring myself back to harsh reality. The theme of domestic violence and abuse is painful, but strangely compelling as well. Maybe I need a dose of human cruelty every once in a while not to lose my own sense of reality?

I have to say I wasn't overly impressed by the beginning.It got better after first 5 rather awkward chapters, but still, the characters stayed too one dimensional to generate any deeper emotions or totally flow with the story. I hate to say it, but it did give me a very fanfictionisque vibe. At times there was ridiculously long description of scenery,  houses, decoration, different sports you name it. It only made concentrating on the action that much harder. Then at times we flew over some parts with only couple of sentences. It felt unbalanced. I would have liked more interaction or even a closer understanding of the characters. We actually didn't get to know them at all! A little explanation behind their motives would've been nice.

he author gave us no reasoning behind Emma's abuse. Simply stating that her uncle and aunt hated her wasn't enough. It made the whole part feel a bit fabricated. I didn't feel Emma's pain. Abuse is horrible and destructing, twisting the persons on both, the delivering and receiving end. I didn't feel it.  AND I can't believe, the only thing that kept her from exposing her horrible relatives was the excuse of her niece and nephew. Huh? I get you might love them with all your heart, as they're the only sunshine in your depressive family, yada-yada. Such constant emotional and physical violence can not be directed only at one point. Sooner or later the hate will consume her. And then what? Letting the kids watch their Mom turn into a psychopath. Grr. I don't understand Emily at all.  

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Iron Queen - Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey #3)

*5 stars*

The third book in The Iron Fey series starts better than any previous! Or maybe because of already familiar universe, but I was instantly drawn into the battle between the Fey worlds.

Back are all our old friends and many new faces as well. Grimalkin is still the same, constantly disappearing know-it-all. He's such a cat. Gremlins, especially Razor, were awfully sweet as well, calling Meghan Master and all. So trusting and self-sacrificing, almost like little electronic dogs. 

As it appears, our dear Ash does have a possessive streak. And I think it's great! The chemistry between them was half the fun for me. It brings so much more life into the action. Ash was amazing. His emotions made me really feel his character. His pain and depth. At times the next move was rather obvious, but could you blame him? His feelings were so fragile. He's such a darling!

As always Puck was cool as well but I don't understand the big commotion around his character. His chipper attitude seems to suffer from a pretty blunt refusal, with what ironically he's stuck. Peevish and sneaky, but nowhere near stealing the spotlight.Oh well. He very much reminded me of Peter Pan, with his boyish character and desire never to grow up.

Monday, 7 May 2012

General Blog Update! + The Iron Daughter - Julie Kagawa (Iron Fey #2)

Happy Monday!
I'm finally starting to know my way around in the huge world of book bloggers. It's awesome! I've also picked up some designing tips and gave my blog a new face. I'm really happy with the outcome!
Exams are nearing, oh no! Sadly that means even less time for books. I only get to read couple of chapters a day. And because of that I've decided to abandon my long-time policy of not doing reviews on series! That way I can celebrate every read book :) Also please do continue being awesome and let me know your thoughts! I appreciate each and every one!

*5 stars*

The second book in the Iron Fey series surprised me pleasantly! I loved this book so much more! I guess the time needed to truly get into the series finally paid off! At times the storyline seemed a bit cliché, but somehow I still managed to understand her feelings. I enjoyed watching Meghan grow "an iron backbone" - both, she and Ash grew up so much!

It picked off right where the Winter Passage left off. (If you haven't read the 60-something page novella you didn't miss out anything crucial, but I do recommend it! It showed us extra scenes of developing feelings, thus setting up a base for a smooth transition. And it was just sweet mush at times, just what I needed!)
Seeing Meghan go through some misery and pain as well for a change of only happy-go-lucky was much needed. Nothing forces us to mature quicker than a broken heart. 

However, what seriously got on my nerves was the same-old same-old Noble-Idiot syndrome. I understand we can't jump right to the happy ending, I really do! But stretching pointlessly the unnecessary tension and then suddenly abandoning all the previous objections. *sigh* A creature as old as Ash should already know better.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Iron King - Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey #1)

*4 stars*

For a change, I wanted to try something different from vampires, aliens or werewolves. So why no Fairies? I've only read Fairy Fantasy once before, so it's rather empty landscape for me.As a bonus, the cover was absolutely magnificent, drawing me like a moth to the flame.

While about one third of the book, I started to have my doubts. I know a good book needs time to develop, but, when will we get anywhere? was my constant question. Petty distractions kept happening and filling the pages with pretty nothingness.

Once Ash came into the view it got much more interesting. Megans and Ashes relationship, condemned from the start, was strangely attractive.  My favorite scene was when it first started to Rain in the Iron Fey land. Ash held Meghan and retold his memories. It was sweet and really touching.

Grimalkin, Cat Sith, was one of my favorite characters. He so reminded me of my cat! The superior attitude, constant licking and cleaning, random disappearances. And the best, the all conclusive explanation to every worry in the world, "I'm a cat!" *Sigh* I wish my cat could talk.